PHOTOS: James river's Wetlands park in the snow

By Phil Riggan

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Wetlands is a quiet part of the James River Park System on the south shores of the river in below Stratford Hills -- attached to the much more well-known Pony Pasture Rapids park.

What you'd normally find in the tranquil park is bird watchers, joggers or people walking your dog. It is rare to get a chance to walk through this rehabilitated land with a good six inches of snow covering it.

Just two weeks ago, parts of this park were under flood waters. The banks of the James had been overflowed by water cresting at more than 19 feet, seven feet above flood stage on the Westham gauge.

There is still a lot of H2O, likely due in part to that floodwater, but also brought in by two major snow storms since the flood. But, with temperatures below freezing, much of the marshlands, streams and even sections of shoreline are iced over.

It is a wonderful site to see, even if it might be a little more risky on your footwear.  Spring, summer and fall may be the best time for bird watchers -- as there didn't seem to be much around for them to eat -- but even a cautious walker could enjoy unique sights in the park.

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